So due to personal circumstances, I came to the decision to sell my PlayStation 3. Okay, it’s been well over two years since I upgraded to a PS4, and its been a long time coming, but looking at the PS3 got me thinking that I’m going to miss these games. However, I kept thinking of one thing:
What are my favourite racing games of all time?
I’ve decided to make a Top 5 list of them, including only proper circuit racing games and no open-world street racing or arcade (i.e. Mario Kart) games, thus counting out the Need for Speed franchise, which most likely would have had a part in this list with the original Most Wanted. Also, most of these games will be Formula 1 games, as the majority of my time was spent playing those, and not really those related to other series.
Firstly though, I would like to put in some honourable mentions for other games which didn’t quite make the top 5 that I still loved. They are:
MotoGP 4 (2004), Gran Turismo 5 (2010), TOCA Race Driver 3 (2006).
Anyway, without further ado, here they are:
5. F1 2010 (2010)
Ahh yes, the first game I ever played on the PlayStation 3 that I am now selling…
This was the second annual game from Codemasters, and a massive improvement on its predecessor, F1 2009 (which I also had, but found the Wii driving controls incredibly frustrating). It was a massive step up, and I enjoyed it a lot in comparison to the 2009 game, which I was hoping would be a massive step up from F1 06, but it wasn’t… F1 2010 was a pretty damn good game to make up for it though.
Overall, I found I had the most fun on the game on career mode, where I spent most of 2011 (seeing as I did only get the game at Christmas in 2010) trying to take one of the new teams, particularly HRT, to the World Championship in my first season of career mode, whilst trying to turn Red Bull and McLaren into backmarkers just to see someone different like Force India or Sauber come up to the top of the field by the third season.
It was also in this game that I experienced my very first online race, and my oh my, I never expected to be thrusted into a world filled with noobs like this… It’s been over six years and if anything, driving standards have slipped online.
Here is a video of the game for you to enjoy:
4. F1 2013 (2013)
This was undoubtedly my favourite of the current crop of Formula 1 official games by Codemasters. The historic cars, the league racing, and everything in between.
I had bought this game at the height of my video gaming times, when I was 15 years old and ready to have a crack at league racing against the world’s best. It was around the same time that I started up what eventually became our F1 based Facebook page, and an Australia-based league to go with it, which ran for six seasons across various games, but enjoyed its best days on F1 2013, before F1 2014 (arguably) destroyed league racing.
Enjoy a video of some gameplay on F1 2013, from Interlagos.
3. Gran Turismo 3 (2001)
I got this game when I got my PlayStation 2 as a little boy at Christmas one year, and I loved that machine so damn much. Looking back now, I still wonder how my parents actually got me to go outside with all the stuff I could do on that game. From driving my favourite road cars, having a go in some exotic race cars, buying some cars I’d seen in real life for banter, rallying around, and finally making use of the monstrously fast Suzuki Escudo and its crazy upgrades and speed. Ahh, the memories…
I still remember the first time I tried to complete an endurance race. I did end up finishing it, but it felt like forever. I broke the race up into a few sessions, and after completing it, thought that never again would I attempt an endurance race, but there I was doing more of them later on, and another around one of Polyphony’s fantastic original tracks. I didn’t ever finish that, instead focusing on trying to get my Special licence to unlock the final few races to be unlocked in the game. I got my licence, but never actually finished those last few races. I simply spent too much time using GT and Le Mans cars and seeing how fast others would go on the Test Course, as well as try to master the Complex String.
Here is some gameplay of Gran Turismo 3!
2. F1 06 (2006)
As an 8 year old when this came out, I’m not going to lie, I didn’t take it too seriously, and more often than not I gave up on trying to race properly, and just use the fantastic damage model to try and crash everyone else out while surviving and being the only person to finish the race while playing as Yuji Ide…
I still remember the days where I worked my arse off to get from the Super Aguri second driver seat to driving alongside Michael Schumacher in the Ferrari to take the fight to Fernando Alonso and Renault, while sporting a nice, custom helmet. As well as this, I always had fun driving quick races too, except for the time when I crashed out of an easy win over 50% distance at a rainy Monaco, when 10 year old me put my Ferrari into the back of a backmarker. Blue flags, honestly?
It was always good when I had to go and do other stuff to switch the game onto TV Mode and watch the cars go around on their own accord, as if I was watching a real race with Brundle and Allen commentating.
I honestly don’t think I’ve ever played a game to the point where it had as many scratches on the disk as this one did, but I’m happy that it managed to keep going for the best part of four years, before finally giving into having so many scratches that the game would freeze every time without fail. Thankfully, F1 2010 arrived just after my copy of the game finally kicked the bucket and stopped working…
Here is some gameplay of F1 06!
1. Formula 1 (1996)
Some say that the first video game you play will always go down as one of, if not your favourite ever video game. With that logic, this game is at the very top of my list.
The 1995 video game was the very first of Sony’s series of Formula 1 video games, where the developers had released the game rather late to include literally everything from the 1995 season into the game, including the withdrawal of Simtek, and the abundance of driver changes that took place during the season.
I always remember playing this game as a little child, as a hand-me-down from my Dad, who bought the game for himself and also loves Formula 1. It was probably one of, if not the first game I ever played, and believe me, I’ve played a lot of video games in nearly 19 years of living. I’m not going to lie, owing to my very young age when I played it most, I was terrible at the game. I could barely keep up with anyone in Michael Schumacher’s Championship-winning Benetton. However, I still enjoyed it a lot, and when I was old enough to understand what I was doing, I had more fun with it, being able to win races and have a classic time.
With that being said though, I never managed to unlock the special F1-car shaped circuit that you get for winning the Championship. After all, what person has the attention span to complete a whole damn season AND win it all in one sitting?
With all this being said, my favourite parts of this game were without doubt the soundtrack and the Murray Walker commentary. I always remember powering up the game and getting hyped up to the theme music! I still love it, over 20 years after the game was released.
I still have this game sitting at home somewhere, and if all goes well, I might be able to run it again sometime on the old, original PlayStation…
Here is a video of the game in its full beauty for you all to enjoy!
Anyway, there is my list of my top 5 motorsport games! I had a fun time making this, as it reminded me of my youth, and some of the fun times I have had playing all these games.